'Kerala scares me': Actress Aishwariyaa Bhaskaran

Aishwariyaa Bhaskaran
Aishwariyaa Bhaskaran. Photo: youtube.com/@MultiMommy

Actor Aishwariyaa who has been part of several popular films like ‘Narasimham’, ‘Butterflies’ and ‘Satyameva Jayate’ says Kerala is unsafe for single female travellers. On her YouTube channel, she lashed out against the state and its attitude toward women. Women getting charred by rejected men and suicides owing to dowry harassment are common in Kerala.

“I want to share a few things with you. I have spent some of my childhood in Kerala. And I used to frequent the temples and streets there. But certain news reports during my recent visit to the state for a serial shoot were really disturbing. Since I had a few days off from work, I decided to visit a few temples in Thiruvananthapuram. Since there were no vehicles available from the serial production house I decided to take a rickshaw.

If I start early in the morning at 5 and visit the temples I might be able to dodge the traffic. The night before I told this to my room boy who was a great help from the time I checked into the hotel. So when I asked him if he can arrange an auto he said it is only safe to travel in your car or the company’s car. When I asked him why he made such a remark considering I was quite familiar with the place since childhood, he narrated a few incidents.

“Madame, it is not at all safe for women in Kerala. You don’t know what is happening in the state. And then he told me some chilling stories of women getting killed by husbands and dowry harassment. I had seen these on television, and they were really scary. So they advised me to travel only in my car or a chauffeur driver company car.

I don’t own a car in Chennai, so why should I buy one in Kerala? I remember a boy scorching a girl with petrol near a bus stop in Thiruvalla, where I had gone for a shoot. I am wondering why no one is talking about the safety of women here. It is scary that women aren’t able to travel alone in Kerala. What sort of safety are you talking about, we have so many women's organizations here.

So when I asked him why the govt is ignoring this issue, he said the current govt is like that. They are not bothered about the people who helped them win the elections. It is your duty to help the people who voted for you. A lot of drivers told me that they were anxious till their daughters reached home after school. I remember telling my daughter how unsafe Kerala has become.

Now if this issue was in Tamil Nadu they would have taken immediate action. It is terrible that the law of the land is not taking enough effort to safeguard their women. What’s the point when law and order are so lackadaisical in a state? Did the Covid virus affect their minds? I would call out anyone who can’t protect women in a state. In a higher literate state like Kerala, they should teach the importance of safety for women right from school.

I am scared of this system that breeds criminal-minded young men. I hope parents will come forward and do the necessary action. They should make sure not to send their children to a school that refuses to teach discipline and integrity. Please send them to Tamil Nadu, we will reform them. We are people who welcome everyone with open arms. Tamil Nadu is the best and safest place for your children’s upbringing. If the state of women in Kerala is this bad, someone needs to do something about it. My intention is not to hurt anyone, I only wanted to make sure justice is being served to the victims’ families. I hope justice will be served in Kerala. After all, Kerala is called God’s Own Country,” said Aishwariyaa.  

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